Special Awards honorees will be feted during the 9th Annual ACM Honors event on September 1, 2015 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Special Award recipients include Alabama, Barry Adelman, Luke Bryan, Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, Eric Church, Tim DuBois, Loretta Lynn, Bob McDill and more. Full list below, including Industry Award, Studio Recording Award and Songwriter of the Year Award winners.
The 50th ACM Awards will be telecast live from AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, April 19 at 8:00PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.
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SPECIAL AWARDS (voted by the ACM Board of Directors and specific categories are awarded during years where the Board feels there are clear and deserving candidates)
Career Achievement Award—Alabama (honoring an individual artist, duo, group or multiple artist collaboration that has advanced the popularity and acceptance of country music through their endeavors in the entertainment industry in multiple areas during the preceding calendar year).
Crystal Milestone Award—Loretta Lynn (given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement).
Gene Weed Special Achievement Award—Luke Bryan (acknowledges unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music).
Jim Reeves International Award—Eric Church (presented to an artist for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world).
Mae Boren Axton Award—Barry Adelman and Tim DuBois (given in recognition of years of dedication and service by an outstanding individual to the ACM).
Adelman, EVP of Television for dick clark productions, has been a champion of the ACM Awards as the show’s long-time writer and executive producer, and has served on the ACM Board of Directors. He is one of the most prolific producers working in Hollywood today, with credits including the Golden Globes, American Music Awards, So You Think You Can Dance and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, among many other high-profile live broadcasts. He has received multiple Emmy nominations in his role as a producer and has written speeches for Presidents Clinton, Bush and Reagan. Early in his career, he also wrote for The Sonny & Cher Show and wrote the eulogy for Elvis Presley’s funeral.
DuBois enjoyed a significant songwriting career before developing Arista Nashville into a powerhouse label in the ’90s. His writing credits include ACM-nominated songs such as Alabama’s “Love in the First Degree,” Vince Gill’s “When I Call Your Name” and Jerry Reed’s “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft).” Under his leadership at Arista, artists like Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and Pam Tillis picked up numerous platinum albums and industry awards. DuBois has served as an ACM officer and a member of the Board of Directors for more than 30 years, currently as ACM board’s Sergeant-at-Arms.
Poet’s Award—Felice and Boudleaux Bryant (awarded posthumously) and Bob McDill (honors songwriters for outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careers in the field of country music).
Felice and Boudleaux Bryant moved to Nashville in 1950 and helped established the city’s songwriting industry. Boudleaux Bryant as a professional fiddler matched with his wife’s poetry for a catalog including the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” and “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” as well as Eddy Arnold’s “How’s the World Treating You,” Jimmy Dickens’ “I’m Little But I’m Loud,” Roy Orbison’s “Love Hurts” and the Osborne Brothers’ “Rocky Top.” Boudleaux died in 1987; Felice died in 2003. They were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1991.
McDill weaves stories with vivid language, memorable melodies and a wise, relatable perspective. The Texas native has written 30 No. 1 country hits since moving to Nashville in 1970. His catalog includes Alabama’s “Song of the South,” Alan Jackson’s “Gone Country,” Waylon Jennings’ “Amanda” and Don Williams’ “It Must Be Love.” In addition, his ACM-nominated songwriting credits are Mel McDaniel’s “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On,” John Schneider’s “I’ve Been Around Enough to Know,” Dan Seals’ “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold),” Pam Tillis’ “All the Good Ones Are Gone” and Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”
(voted on by all professional members of the Academy and for the first time ever this year’s ballot included the ACM Festival of the Year category. The Academy wanted to recognize the growing festival industry, a platform that has helped raise awareness and appreciation for country music)
CASINO OF THE YEAR:
SMALL CAPACITY – Hard Rock Live – Biloxi, MS
MEDIUM CAPACITY – MGM Grand Casino – Las Vegas, NV
FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR: Country Thunder USA: East – Twin Lakes, WI
NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR: Joe’s Bar – Chicago, IL
VENUE OF THE YEAR:
SMALL CAPACITY – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
MEDIUM CAPACITY – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
LARGE CAPACITY – Hollywood Bowl – Hollywood, CA
DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR: Sally Williams – Ryman Auditorium
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: Ed Warm – Joe’s Live
STUDIO RECORDING AWARDS
(formerly the MBI Awards is voted by professional members of the Academy who are classified in the Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist category and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category)
BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Glenn Worf
DRUMMER OF THE YEAR: Greg Morrow
GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tom Bukovac
PIANO/KEYBOARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Rojas
SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ilya Toshinsky
STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Dan Dugmore
AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR: Chuck Ainlay
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR: Jay Joyce
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR: Luke Laird (voted on by professional members of the Academy in the following categories: Artist-Entertainer/Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist, Composer, Music Publisher/PRO, Record Company, and the Producer-Engineer-Studio Manager sub-category (contained within the Affiliated category)
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